Monday, 2 January 2017

Cyberleagle on Surveillance

For over two years I have been blogging on surveillance, a topic that cuckoo-like has grown to crowd out most other IT and internet law topics on this blog. 

With the Investigatory Powers Act now on the UK statute book, this seems like a good moment to catalogue the 43 posts that this legislation and its preceding events have inspired.

20 August 2013: Everyman encounters Government. Prompted by reactions to Snowden. It's all about trust.


{8 April 2014: CJEU invalidates EU Data Retention Directive in Digital Rights Ireland. Validity of UK implementation by secondary legislation questionable.}

12 July 2014: Dissecting DRIP - the emergency Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. Posted the day after the coalition government’s Friday publication of the DRIP Bill for introduction into Parliament on the Monday morning, on an emergency four day timetable. Still by far the most page views of any post on this blog. 

20 July 2014: The other side of communications data. Statistics on communications data acquisition errors with serious consequences: wrong accusations, search warrants, arrests. Updated since then with data from subsequent IOCCO Annual Reports. 

10 October 2014: Submissions to the Investigatory Powers Review. Various submissions (including mine) to David Anderson QC’s Investigatory Powers Review.

15 November 2014: Of straws and haystacks. Tracing the history of RIPA’s S.8(4) bulk interception power via the 1960s cable vetting scandal to S.4 of the Official Secrets Act 1920.

3 December 2014: Another round of data retention. The IP address resolution provisions of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, amending DRIPA.

21 December 2014: A Cheltenham Carol. Five Ba-a-aack Doors.

2 January 2015: The tangled net of GCHQ’s fishing warrant. Detailed analysis of the S.8(4) RIPA bulk interception warrant.

2 February 2015: IP address resolution - a conundrum still unresolved? A short rant about the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.

{11 June 2015: "A Question of Trust" published.}

13 July 2015: Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate. Discussion of  David Anderson Q.C.'s Investigatory Powers Review report "A Question of Trust".

12 August 2015: The coming surveillance debate. A 13 part series of posts analysing specific topics likely to feature in the forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill.

5 September 2015: Predicting the UK’s new surveillance law. Nine predictions for the contents of the Bill covering bulk interception, broad Ministerial powers, browsing histories, digital footprints, data generation by decree, communications data/content boundary, third party data collection, request filter and judicial authorisation.

{4 November 2015: Draft Investigatory Powers Bill published.}

4 November 2015: Prediction and Verdict - the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Contents of the draft Bill versus my 5 September predictions.

9 November 2015: From Oversight to Insight - Hidden Surveillance Law Interpretations. Arguing that the oversight body should proactively seek out and make public material legal interpretations on the basis of which powers are exercised or asserted.

23 December 2015: #IPBill Christmas Quiz. A bit of seasonal fun with the draft Bill, including the never to be forgotten definition “Data includes any information which is not data”. Five out of the ten points highlighted, including that one, have changed in the final legislation.

16 January 2016: An itemised phone bill like none ever seen. Adapted from my evidence to the pre-legislative scrutiny Joint Committee, analysing how internet connection records are richer, more far reaching and different in nature from the traditional itemised phone bill with which the government was at that stage inclined to compare them. 

7 February 2016: No Content: Metadata and the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. Highlighting the significance of communications data powers in the draft Bill.

16 February 2016: The draft Investigatory Powers Bill - start all over again? Discussion of the Joint Committee and ISC Reports on the draft Bill.

{1 March 2016: Investigatory Powers Bill introduced into Parliament.}

15 March 2016: Relevant Communications Data revisited. Parsing and visualising one of the most complex and critical definitions in the Bill.

19 March 2016: 20 points on the Investigatory Powers Bill, from future proofing to triple negatives. Storified 20 points tweeted immediately before publication of the Bill, with subsequent comments in the light of the Bill.

24 March 2016: All about the metadata. More visualisations of the Bill’s complex web of metadata definitions.

29 March 2016: Woe unto you, cryptographers! This little collection of Biblical quotations adapted to cryptography fell flat as a pancake…

1 April 2016: An official announcement. …but not as flat as this leaden attempt at an April Fool.

15 April 2016: Future-proofing the Investigatory Powers Bill. Arguing that the Bill’s attempt to future-proof powers by adopting a technologically neutral drafting approach repeats the error of RIPA. A better approach would be to future-proof the privacy-intrusion balance.

26 May 2016: The content v metadata contest at the heart of the Investigatory Powers Bill. A deep dive into the Bill’s dividing lines between content and metadata, including the new power of the intelligence agencies to extract some content and treat it as metadata. 

12 June 2016: The List. Dystopia looms, holding a clipboard.

19 July 2016: Data retention - the Advocate General opines. Summary of the Advocate General’s Opinion in the Watson/Tele2 case challenging DRIPA and the equivalent Swedish legislation.

11 August 2016: How secondary data got its name. An imagined Bill drafting committee meeting in Whitehall.

{19 August 2016: Bulk Powers Review published.}

7 September 2016: A trim for bulk powers? What might have been if the Bulk Powers Review had been commissioned and published at the start of the Parliamentary process.

{29 November 2016: Investigatory Powers Act gains Royal Assent.}

10 December 2016: Investigatory Powers Act 2016 Christmas Quiz. 20 questions to test your knowledge of the #IPAct. 

31 December 2016: The Investigatory Powers Act - swan or turkey? A post-legislative reflection on the Act.  

This marks the end of the beginning. Pending legal challenges, new legal challenges and Brexit will provide a rich seam of material for future blogging.

[Amended 21.25 2 Jan 2017 to add some {contextual events} and stylistic edits.]

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